Climate Change & Himalayas

Photo by KOUSTABH BISWAS on Pexels.com

Now, who does not like to watch the scenic snow-capped mountains? And the Himalayas , which is one of the most vital sources of the perennial rivers in India. But the drastic climate change have been responsible for the depleating condition of these mountain range. The Himalayan mountains are warming between 0.3-0.7°C faster than the global average, causing glaciers to shrink, snowlines to recede, and increasing the danger of floods when expanding glacial lakes burst. The effects of climate change can be seen in untimely heavy rains, floods , droughts and even the springs have gone dry. The boost in tourism bringing in more tourists is a result of pollution in these regions. The locals have started adapting to the climatic changes as they think this is what is best suited for them.

A combination of unseasonal snowfall, long periods of drought and warmer weather is affecting the lifestyle and the harvesting patterns of the Himalayan region. The decrese in the yield of crops and the extiction of many species of flaura and fauna is a matter of grave concern and all this is linked to the changes in the climatic conditions. The flowering time of many plants has also undergone severe delay.

The vegetaion patterns of the eastern , central & western ranges of the Himalayas are very distinct from one another. And there are many reports that suggest that the western Himalays are warming faster than the eastern part. This diffrenetial change is also another cause of concern as it becomes very difficult to study and undertsand the causes and consequenses of the climatic impact on the natural resources.

The climate change challenge is just going to exacerbate in the immediate future. And hence there is an urgency to act. The loccal communities and the local farmers face the direct brunt of these changes. They are also the major stake holders and only by their active participation and support can this impact be checked if not stopped. Scientists, researchers, policymakers, and planners are trying to protect these lands must have the willingness to learn from the indigenous caretakers of the land. They must be treated as serious knowledge holders as they have been staying there and generation after generation have been able to survive glacial outburts or any other natural calamity. A space has to be created for them to represent their thoughts and the policy makers have to deal with these stake holders with lot of respect & humility. Only a collective approach and a strong will to protect the Himalayan ranges can help us all survive in the long run. This needs more budgeting and a more focused approach from all the stakeholders.

Love,

Chinmayee

“This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter.”

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